Increasing Revenue: Raise Your Rates or Your Clients?

This is a pervasive small business issue. I was talking with a friend today who has the potential to change the world, but he was charging small-time pricing. As I thought through the issue, I realized that like many people I have met, he had a block to seeing the potential for larger fees. I think there are several potential issues going on here and for others: One's network is made up of small thinkers and cheap people. One's clients are used to paying smaller fees. One's self-perception is not great enough to allow for big pricing. The value offered is not worth more than the small pricing. Here's one of my answers to him (I thought it was brilliant): It is easier for us to change our pricing to match our networks than change our networks to match our pricing. But if we want true abundance, we need to change our networks/clients to match our BIG vision. Here's a response to each of the points above: This limits our thinking because we calibrate based on the people we are around. Back to the adage "You will rise to the level of the five people closest to you". Change your clients. Go up-market. Start working with people who will create a bigger impact. If you want to maximize your impact during your lifetime, you need to work with people who have major impact, or who will soon. Working with people who are concerned only with themselves or maybe a few others will not juice most people enough to keep going strong. Focus on maximum impact. I have a great friend, Paige Armstrong, who is a psychotherapist and coach (psycho-coach :-)). She has helped me and [...]

Bureaucrap: The Leading Killer of Innovation

The surest sign that innovation is getting poo-pooed in an organization is when you see piles of BUREAUCRAP all over the office. It gunks up the works, it makes people hate their environment, and it STINKS! What is Bureaucrap? bu·reau·crap ˈbyo͝orəˌkrap/   noun Friction-causing, energy-sapping excrement from people who like to poo-poo other people's ideas and who put artificial and nonsensical barriers in place that undermine productivity and innovation. A sticky substance that prevents real people from doing good work. A residue from incompetent people trying to justify their existence.   Bureaucrap is often commensurate in scope to, or exponentially larger than the size of an organization, and poses as "protective measures" to prevent bad stuff from happening. What really happens is that it prevents good stuff from happening while allowing incompetence and polyticks (lots of blood-sucking parasites) to exist in the organization. How to Remove Bureaucrap   You may need a Tychem® BR Level B Fully Encapsulating Suit, like the one shown above, for excessive amounts of bureaucrap. Caution: Bureaucrap is difficult to remove. You must follow these directions carefully: Clear the air. Explain that you believe bureaucrap to exist and that you want it removed. Identify the bureaucrap. Look for inefficiency. Look for disengaged employees. Look for poor performance and productivity. Look for lots of paper or extensive approval systems. Look for people who have risen to their level of incompetence (Peter Principle) Enlist help from your employees to root it out. Describe what bureaucrap is and how to find it. Offer rewards for the biggest pile of bureaucrap discovered. This can be fun or serious. Address it head-on. No mamby-pamby solutions will work. Create an award for bureaucrap. Speak to those in charge of creating, promoting, or maintaining bureaucrap. [...]

By |2015-08-04T09:16:53-04:00January 28th, 2015|Uncategorized|3 Comments

Identify Customer Needs: Step 1 in Building an Effective Sales Funnel [Sales Funnel Part 2]

[This post is Part 2 of the Build Your Sales Funnel series, a 10-part series. Here's Part 1. Every company needs to build a sales funnel to maximize revenue.] Amusement parks know that there are millions of thrill-seekers like me who are willing to pay to ride rollercoasters. They also know that there are millions of people who don't prefer fast rides. Parks are designed to accommodate both, helping to optimize their revenue. They know that families and groups are made up of thrill seekers and those who like to play games and watch shows. And those willing to watch the kids and eat a funnel cake... When we're building our sales funnels, we need to identify customer needs. Actually, to know what it is that customers really want. Customers often don't buy what they need, but they do buy what they want. I've struggled with this one. I see that companies need strategy help, but many only want marketing help, which is just a portion of the goodness I can offer. For a long time, I tried to convince them of their need, until I finally relented and started selling what they wanted, and Big Think's revenues doubled almost overnight. Finding the Fit Market Fit is the term used to describe the proper fit between a product/service offering and what customers want. To see more about this, see Fit Product to Market, which is the first part of the Big Think Revenue Generator model. You need to find what customers are actually searching for on the Internet, and what they are buying in stores. What flies off the shelves versus what just takes up shelf space. There are several approaches to discover or identify customer needs and wants: Ask people Observe [...]

By |2015-08-04T09:19:24-04:00January 9th, 2015|Expert Business, Revenue Growth|0 Comments

Is Your Sales Funnel Like an Amusement Park? [Sales Funnel, Part 1]

I love rollercoasters. I'm an admitted risk junkie - pilot, SCUBA diver, hang glider, skydiver - you get the picture. I love it. But there's nothing quite like a great rollercoaster to get the heart pumping. And it makes a great analogy to building a profitable business. For me to get to ride my favorite ride, I have to: Find a day my boys and I can go (they're my rollercoaster buddies, and if I go without them, it wouldn't be pretty) Drive four hours to get to King's Dominion (or more for Busch Gardens) Pay for parking and park the car in the expansive lot and try to remember where I parked (we usually get there before it opens, so parking is closer) Buy the tickets ($50+ bucks each) and enter the park Walk/run/sprint to the coolest coaster before the line piles up Stand in line at the ride FINALLY get to ride the rollercoaster (for about 60 seconds) FUN! Here it is in a sales funnel form: It's totally crazy when I break it down like that. Eight hours of driving, a few hundred bucks once you factor in tickets, food, and gas. All for about 20-30 60-second-or-less rides, depending on the crowd. But the park was built for me. And millions of others like me. It is a destination because they created the product I want to consume. Application to Your Business The same thing goes for our businesses. Some people have a more difficult time explaining WHY someone will want to experience what they offer. But let's break down the application to our businesses, because I think it's a great analogy: Identify the Need/Pent-up Demand. People have to know they need something to start searching for [...]

By |2015-08-04T09:17:59-04:00January 2nd, 2015|Expert Business, Revenue Growth|5 Comments

Self-Employed and Tired of No Sleep? Time for a Thinking Upgrade (Welcome to The Leverage Continuum™)

Being self-employed is a tough life. You're responsible for everything: Making product or providing services (if you have clients/customers) Selling Marketing Billing Accounting Figuring out what to do next out of your 1,001 item list Some day you hope you can get to working ON your business rather than IN it There's tons more. I've been on a journey this year of taking the first steps out of self-employment. And I don't mean getting a job. This year, I've dug in more than in the past to turning my services into products (productizing services) and really thinking through what I can do with them. I have laid out a plan, and I will be writing about this journey of self-discovery and transformation here. A journey that has led me to develop the concept of The Leverage Continuum™. My expectation: Within one year I will have lots more freedom and about 7X more income. Why only 7X? Because I'm building a platform, and infrastructure on which to build the rest of my "real" business. And building the foundation often takes longer than building the rest. The Leverage Continuum™ The transformation process is The Leverage Continuum™. Here is the first stage, which I'll talk about in more depth in additional posts: There are psychological shifts required for each step, and until someone is ready for the next change in their thinking, it won't happen. It can't happen. We all have hang-ups of some sort. I didn't think I did, but I have recently uncovered some things that were holding me back: My personal limiting beliefs. This model is still being developed, and subject to change, but the thinking is starting to come together. Overall, there are numerous shifts that [...]

By |2015-08-04T09:19:47-04:00October 4th, 2014|The Leverage Continuum™|0 Comments